CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men were killed in a high-speed hit-and-run crash Thursday morning in the Park Manor neighborhood.
Police said a gray SUV was headed east on 71st Street around 1 a.m., when a speeding Ford Fusion exiting the northbound Dan Ryan Expressway slammed into the SUV at the intersection of 71st and State.
The two mangled cars came to a stop in front of a BP gas station, leaving behind a trail of debris and a downed street sign.
The driver and passenger in the SUV were taken to the University of Chicago trauma center, where they were pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the men as 35-year-old Jerome Clopton and 42-year-old James Moore.
Moore was the father of Clopton’s girlfriend. Relatives said Clopton was a devoted boyfriend and father.
“It’s just unbelievable. He was just a good person. If you looked up good in the dictionary, you would see him. He just worked, and he just loved his family,” cousin Malenice Brisco said.
Just a little more than an hour before his death, Clopton posted a happy birthday video to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with their second child.
The driver of the Fusion ran off after the crash. Police brought in a K-9 unit and a helicopter to help search the area.
The news Clopton died in a hit-and-run on his way home from work hit hard. His family hopes the driver responsible for the crash turns himself in.
“It’s all bad when you just leave somebody just to suffer. You don’t know what’s going on, or if they are suffering,” said Clopton’s cousin, Barbara Sneed.
The Chicago Police Major Accidents Investigation unit was investigating.